I’m finally blogging! The last few weeks it has been 90+ degrees out almost nonstop and cooking has not sounded like fun. Salads, cheese and crackers, smoothies have been my meals. I did cook a couple of times, even photographed my efforts but nothing was blog worthy. My lasagna wasn’t bad. The blueberry muffin bread was okay. But neither was good (or bad!) enough to share. My dinner last night however, fantastic!
Several of my posts have been recipes from the cookbook Jerusalem. I was initially drawn to the cookbook for the beautiful photography, the pictures made my mouth water! I was a bit intimidated by the recipes because they seemed long and involved. Additionally I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the ingredients. I dove in though and despite the long and seemingly complicated recipes with a whole new set of flavors for my palate – I’ve found the book accessible and rewarding. In addition, I love the forward to each recipe. It’s a little cultural history that makes me even more excited to try the recipe.
Sabih, a street food that was originally developed by Iraqi Jews who settled near Tel Aviv in the 1950s, draws on influences throughout the Middle East. The best part about it (for me) is that all of the components can be prepared in advanced and easily assembled for a quick dinner.
Okay – enough rambling, let’s get to the food! Over the weekend I prepared all of the pieces of the recipe. I first cut the eggplant in strips and sprinkled them with salt and left them alone while I got to work on my chopped salad, dipping sauces and hard-boiled eggs. A simple chopped salad of tomato, cucumber, green onion, parsley (from my garden!), lemon juice and olive oil. The sauces are a bit time-consuming but they make the dish.
The recipe calls for mango pickle, which I didn’t have but I did have pilpelchuma, a chili garlic (20 cloves) paste that I had made (red/brown on left). On the top is a tahini sauce. Finally I made Zhough, a fresh, herby, spicy paste.
After all the sauces I got back to my eggplant. I took a paper towel to gently wipe off the excess salt then I pan-fried them in sunflower oil until soft. At this point it was close to eleven on Sunday night so I packaged everything up, went to bed and looked forward to dinner all day on Monday.
Assembly was a breeze. I put a pita in my toaster oven and topped with a layer of eggplant, I only toasted for a couple of minutes, long enough to take the chill off but not actually cook. I peeled and quartered my egg. I pulled the rest of the ingredients out of the fridge. Stack stack stack!
There was about half of the tahini sauce (tahini with lemon juice, garlic and water) left so I put a teaspoon of the red chili paste in and mixed it up. It was perfect for some sweet potato wedges that I had roasted over the weekend.
So good. I’m going to make myself round two right now.
Would anyone be interested in the detailed recipes for the red and/or green chili paste? I can blog about those, there are so many uses but don’t want to bore you.
What is your favorite street food?